THE family of the man convicted of murdering Edinburgh woman Suzanne Pilley has insisted the case against him was “flawed” and he is innocent.
David Gilroy, 52, was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of former lover Ms Pilley in 2010. Her body was never found and no witnesses ever came forward.
There was, and remains to this day, no forensic evidence, no body and no witness. As a family, we were shocked at the convictionLinda Gilroy
Gilroy was found guilty after circumstantial evidence convinced a jury he had throttled her in a jealous rage and buried her in a “lonely grave”.
Gilroy and his family have always maintained his innocence, and now his stepmother, former Plymouth MP Linda Gilroy, has spoken out against his conviction.
Speaking of his family’s efforts to clear his name, she said: “It is five years this week since David was charged with a crime that he did not commit.
“There was, and remains to this day, no forensic evidence, no body and no witness. As a family, we were shocked at the conviction.”
She went on: “The more we have looked into the case, the stronger becomes our belief that David’s trial was far from fair and full of gaps in evidence that should have been put before the court.”
The Gilroy family has been working to challenge his conviction since the trial.
In a statement, former MP Ms Gilroy outlined the grounds for the challenge, citing weak circumstantial evidence as the major flaw in his case. Gilroy has already lost two appeals, but a review by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) could result in a new appeal being heard.
Yesterday’s statement added: “The media coverage of the case had from the beginning been unquestioning of the prosecution case.
“No-one seemed interested, or likely to be interested, in what it was which some of the jurors found to be unconvincing about the trial evidence.”
The Gilroy family – including wife Andrea, 45, his two teenage children, father Bernard, stepmother Linda and mother Grace – has put its own case together. His relatives are challenging the Crown over the disclosure of information including CCTV footage from various locations which they say would give answers that would either prove or disprove their case.
The SCCRC is expected to reach its conclusions about the case in August.
A Crown Office spokesman said: “David Gilroy was sentenced to life imprisonment having been found guilty by a jury after trial. The Crown has a duty of disclosure throughout proceedings, which was fulfilled.”
Ms Pilley’s relatives declined to comment, but in the wake of Gilroy’s conviction they urged him to confess as to the location of their daughter’s body, which police believe to be somewhere in the Argyll Forest.
At the last appeal, Robert Pilley, 73, and wife Sylvia, 72, said of the failure to find their daughter’s body: “It puts us through hell.”